Meet the Team

We do not want to merely be great; we want to be extraordinary; extraordinary in the size and scope of our business, but more importantly, extraordinary in the impact we have on our clients’ financial lives.

Meet our Partners


David L. Bahnsen, CFP®, CIMA®

Chief Investment Officer

Partner

As the group founder and team leader, David directs all portfolio and strategic asset allocation decisions. He holds numerous financial licenses and designations including Certified Financial Planner™ and Certified Investment Management Analyst®. Previously with UBS Financial, and most recently at Morgan Stanley for eight years where he was promoted to Managing Director, David consistently ranked as one of Morgan’s top financial advisors and was a member of the firm’s exclusive Chairman’s Council.

David is active in a number of non-profit organizations and serves as a board member of the Lincoln Club of Orange County, a Blackstone Faculty member of the Alliance Defense Fund, and Senior Fellow of Economics and Finance at the Center for Cultural Leadership. David has been recognized by Barron's as one of America's Top 1,200 Advisors (2014, 2015), and On Wall Street as a Top 40 Advisor Under 40 (2014).

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Brian T. Szytel, CFP®, AIF®

Managing Director, Private Wealth Advisor Group

Partner

As a Bahnsen Group Partner and Managing Director of the firms Private Wealth Advisor Group, Brian manages lead relationship management, investment strategy, financial and retirement planning, and advanced estate planning strategies for our clients.  Brian has a diverse professional background with over 15 years of financial advisory experience including UBS, Smith Barney and most recently at Morgan Stanley where he was promoted to First Vice President.  

Brian holds the Certified Financial Planner ™, and Accredited Investment Fiduciary™ designations, along with the Series 7, 66, and 31 securities and the California Life and Health Insurance License.  Brian received his Bachelor’s degree in Business and Economics from The University of California at Santa Barbara.  Brian lives locally with his wife Sara and daughters Sophie and Anna and adores his active lifestyle with them outside of the office.

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Kimberlee A. Davis, J.D., CDFA®

Managing Director, Financial Planning

Partner

As a Bahnsen Group Managing Director/Partner and the Financial Planning Director, Kimberlee specializes in personal wealth advising and oversees financial planning and retirement planning solutions for high net worth individuals and multi-generational families.   She creates, and guides implementation of, cohesive strategies that incorporate all aspects of clients’ financial lives.  Her proficiency also includes helping individuals transition to financial independence after life altering events such as death or divorce.

Kimberlee joined The Bahnsen Group at Morgan Stanley in 2014 and was part of the start-up transition when The Bahnsen Group went independent in 2015.  Kimberlee has a diverse background and more than 25 years of finance, legal and corporate experience. She formerly worked as a corporate securities lawyer, investment banker and Chief Financial Officer.  Kimberlee received her Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service/ International Finance, at Georgetown University as well as a Juris Doctor from Georgetown University Law Center.  She currently holds the Series 7 and 66 licenses and the California Life and Health Insurance License.

Kimberlee is an active member of the British American Business Council of Orange County where she sits on its Commerce Committee, a Board member of the Georgetown Alumni Association, Orange County, and a volunteer at Project Hope Alliance.  She is also a recognized member of the Connected Women of Influence.  She also serves as the Vice Chairwoman for the Valiant Women of the Mission Hospital Foundation in Mission Viejo, California which supports Women’s Health Care and Nursing Education. Previously she was President of The Junior League of Northern Westchester, New York.

In 2017 she was named as an Advisory Board Member for the University of California, Irvine - The Paul Merage School of Business Center for Investment and Wealth Management, and also as Board Member and Treasurer of the Foundation for Women Warriors.

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Meet the Private Wealth Advisors


Don B. Saulic, CPA

Executive Director, Estate Planning

Don is the Executive Director of Estate Planning leading all financial and advanced estate planning. He works with clients to create robust and specific financial plans to enable them to help achieve their long-term financial goals. He also provides financial, insurance and investment advisory services to affluent individuals and businesses as a senior private wealth advisor.

Don is active in several public and non-profit boards including the Forum of Christian Business Leaders, YMCA, Steadfast Income REIT, Vanguard University and the Grace and Hope Foundation.

With over twenty-five years of major corporate executive experience, Don has formally held positions as Independent Board Director, President, Chief Operations Officer, Managing Director, and Global Chief Information Officer. Don has a MBA from DePaul University and a bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Economics from Illinois State University. He holds FINRA Series 7, 24 and 65 securities licenses, California life and health insurance licenses, and holds Certified Public Accountant designation from the State of Illinois Board of Examiners.

Born and raised in Chicago, Don has three daughters, a son and lives in Newport Beach, California. His passion is helping people achieve their life balance goals by counseling them on their spiritual formation, health and fitness, financial planning, relationships, education, and career. Don also serves at church and in the community, spends time with his family, and loves working out, playing sports, and traveling.


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Robert E. Graham, CRPS®

Executive Director, Retirement Plans

Private Wealth Advisor

Robert is the Executive Director for our Retirement Plans practice.  In this capacity, he directs and implements our corporate retirement plan consultation and advisory services. He works with Retirement Plan Sponsors to optimize plan services and outcomes. Robert is a Chartered Retirement Plans Specialist (CRPS™).

As a Private Wealth Advisor, specializing in concierge services for select clients of The Bahnsen Group, Robert also leads the financial education program, Bahnsen U. He is a graduate of Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business, with a B.S. in Finance.

Robert is a member of the Investment Advisory Committee for the City of Irvine and the Orange County Sheriff’s Advisory Council. He also serves as a Professional Services Responder with the Orange County Sheriff

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Trevor Cummings

Associate, Financial Planning

Private Wealth Advisor

Trevor works as a private wealth advisor focused on building customized financial plans for his clients. His responsibilities in financial planning has Trevor highly involved in nearly every financial plan generated by the firm.

Trevor joined The Bahnsen Group in 2016 after 3 years at Morgan Stanley where he worked with clients on a broad range of services. At The Bahnsen Group, Trevor serves on the Investment Committee.

Trevor received his Bachelor’s degree in Organizational Leadership from Biola University and his MBA from California State University, Fullerton. He currently holds the Series 7 and 66 securities licenses, California Life and Health

Insurance license, and is working towards the completion of the Certified Financial Planner certificate in 2017.

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Meet the Team

(click on image to view bio)
Deiya Pernas

Deiya Pernas

Managing Director, Investment Solutions

As Managing Director, Investment Solutions, Deiya serves in a leadership position in our Investment Strategy group, working directly with the Chief Investment Officer on all portfolio and asset allocation decisions.  Deiya heads our Manager Research and Diligence efforts, and is responsible for portfolio analytics, client performance reporting, trading and execution, and overall investment solutions.

Deiya is to essential to all aspects of trading, asset allocation, performance reporting and manager selection. He manages the infrastructure & processes responsible to achieve both scale and enhance customization in the portfolio management process.

Deiya joined The Bahnsen Group in 2014 at Morgan Stanley and was a key part of our transition efforts the following year. He has four years of honorable service in the United States Air Force where he was an F-15 Fighter technician. In addition, for a period of 365 days he was assigned to Seymour Johnson Air Force Base’s Honor Guard as part of the Air Force’s Mortuary Affairs Program. He completed his Bachelor’s degree in Economics from University of California, Berkeley and currently holds the Series 7 and 66 licenses. He is a CFA Level III Candidate.

 


Michelle Leivas

Michelle Leivas

Executive Director, Client Experience

Executive Assistant to the CIO

Michelle’s responsibility is to create an incredible experience for our clients through proactive service and additive value.  She joined The Bahnsen Group in 2006 at UBS Financial Services and moved with the group to Morgan Stanley in 2007 and ultimately to our permanent home in 2015.  Her alignment with the group throughout our evolution speaks to her incredible value for the team and for our clients.  Prior to joining The Bahnsen Group in 2006 she had spent three years at UBS in downtown Los Angeles, three years at Seidler Co., and five years at JB Oxford in Beverly Hills.

In addition to Michelle’s work in client service, special events, and additive value creation, she also serves as team founder, David Bahnsen’s, executive assistant. 

Jacqueline O'Hare

Jacqueline O'Hare

Executive Director, Operations

Jackie directs client account operations. She is Brian Szytel’s Executive Assistant and oversees all monthly account transactions for The Bahnsen Group.

Jackie has over 11 years of experienced Morgan Stanley operations background. She focuses on account operations, check payouts, transfers and journals.

Brian K. Tong

Brian K. Tong

Chief Strategy Officer

As the Chief Strategy Officer, Brian specializes in the design and management of the Team’s key business efforts.  With over 30 years of experience as a business and brand consultant, Brian heads the Strategy and Communications arm of The Bahnsen Group of HighTower where he cultivates client engagement through a variety of media and communication channels.  Brian has worked with The Bahnsen Group for over a decade before joining the firm from the consulting agency he founded called the Brainyard.  Over that time, Brian designed business development programs, advertising campaigns, and executed on all digital, social, and web site strategies for The Bahnsen Group.  Tong also served on the Client Advisory Board for 5 years.  

His focus today is providing a clear picture of the investment philosophy and the value of the services of The Bahnsen Group.  He actively manages the major public events and client gatherings and is also a liaison to our public relations agency.

Brian received his Bachelor of Science in Psychology at the University of California, Irvine.  He currently holds a Certification of Sustainable Management from the University of the Pacific.  He has served on numerous board and committees committed to youth health and fitness at the YMCA (Newport-Mesa) and the Boys and Girls Club (Anaheim) and was a founder of the Lean Company with renowned child development physician, Dr. William Sears.  

Peter Van Voorhis

Peter Van Voorhis

Associate, Strategy and Communications

Peter serves as the Lead Associate for the Strategy and Communications Group.  He designs and manages the Social and Digital strategies for the whole of The Bahnsen Group and is the editor and publisher of most written and video content.  Peter also manages corporate and client public communications through email channels, online advertising, and other client engagement platforms. 

Peter is a graduate of the University of California, Irvine, with a Finance degree.  Peter also runs the weekly commentary blog, video and podcasts for both The Dividend Café and Market Epicurean, our premier communications platforms.